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“Farewell Dinner to Ambassador Kellog”


(Photograph: 8 x 10 inches/Framed:15 x 17 inches)

Item Number: 209148


A pricelessly rare, signed, vintage photograph of Winston Churchill and Edward, Prince of Wales, signed in ink beneath their respective images: “Winston S. Churchill” and “Edward P.”

Destined, as Edward VIII, to abdicate his throne for the woman he loved, the prince’s melancholy expression here imputes a foreshadowing sense to the photograph, taken February 28, 1925, at a farewell dinner for Frank Kellogg, retiring American Ambassador to Great Britain, at London’s Hotel Victoria. The photograph is also signed by Ambassador Kellogg (far left), and Baron Desborough (middle), all seated side-by-side at a banquet table.

The dinner was convened by The Pilgrims of Great Britain society, whose motto appears on a framed sign behind the table: “Hic et Ubique” (“Here and Everywhere”). The Pilgrims society was founded in 1902 “to promote good-will, good-fellowship, and everlasting peace between the United States and Great Britain.” Winston Churchill was serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer to Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin at the time of this photograph. The Prince of Wales would ascend to the throne upon the death of his father, King George V, in January 1936. He and Winston Churchill were longtime friends. Churchill almost destroyed his own political career attempting to ward off abdication and save Edward’s crown. In the end, he failed. Edward VIII renounced the throne on December 9,1936 to marry his commoner love, Wallis Warfield Simpson.

CHARLES KELLOG served as U.S. Ambassador for one year, 1924-1925.

BARON DESBOROUGH (William Grenfell) was an athlete of renown in Great Britain, as well as a politician, and the president of the Pilgrims society. His wife, known as “Ettie,” was one of England’s great society hostesses, a leading figure in the social group “The Souls,” entertaining luminaries at their country house, Taplow Court, such as H.G. Wells, Vita Sackville-West, Oscar Wilde and, yes, the Prince of Wales and Winston Churchill. The couple lost two sons in the trenches during World War I, including Julian Grenfell, a noted war poet.

The photograph (8 x 10 inches) is in very good condition, with some inconsequential bubbling near the lower right corner. It is matted in linen and superbly framed in gilt (15 x 17 inches overall).